January 30, 2006 – Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Austin, TX, claims to have developed a device combining a gallium arsenide semiconductor with traditional metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) technology, paving the way to develop new classes of low-power ultrafast semiconductors and power amplifiers.
GaAs generates less noise and conducts electrons up to 20x faster than traditional silicon. However, inability to deploy silicon dioxide or other dielectric materials into GaAs prohibited incorporation of standard MOSFET gate structures processes, equipment, and interconnect methods. Now, the company said it has identified GaAs-compatible materials and devices that provide scaling capabilities on par with traditional silicon materials.
Early generations of GaAs-based MOSFET devices are expected to be highly specialized and designed to complement traditional semiconductor technology, stated the company, which will work with partners to accelerate deployment of the technology by creating infrastructure, wireless, and optoelectronic products. The performance improvements could fundamentally change analog-to-digital conversion technology, potentially making such conversions virtually instantaneous, the company stated.
“This remarkable achievement overturns industry assumptions and has the potential to fundamentally change the way high performance semiconductors are designed, manufactured and deployed,” said Sumit Sadana, SVP of strategy and business development and acting CTO for Freescale.
The GaAs MOSFET technology “”offers potential leaps in device performance built upon a bedrock of mature manufacturing capabilities,” stated Asif Anwar, GaAs services director for Strategy Analytics.